Welcome to the Children’s Round-Up for April, 2018.
Only a handful of children’s books have been linked to the blog this month, but it has been school holidays after all – which has certainly affected my own productivity!
The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) recently released their list of Notable Books for the 2018 CBCA Book of the Year Awards (winners will be announced in August, 2018). This link is a great place to start if you’re looking for some truly exceptional reading, from early childhood through to older readers, with many books written and illustrated by Australian Women Authors.
And now to this month’s reviews. Please click on the highlighted links if you’d like to read more about a particular book:
Anna Greenwood reviewed Lost! A True Tale From the Bush, by Stephanie Owen Reader. A book for school-aged children, it is a well-written, fictionalised account of a true story of three young children who were lost in the Australian bush. Set in 1864, the book provides historical information about children’s lives during that period, as well as a range of illustrations from the National Library’s collection.
Another Australian themed book, The Flying Optometrist by Joanne Anderton is a charming picture book, aimed at primary school children. Tracey @ Carpe Librum enjoyed the Australian setting and lingo. She believes it’s a great introduction to understanding what it’s like to live in the outback, and the importance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The author’s own father was the inspiration behind the story, and information about him, as well as the establishment of the RFDS, is provided in the book.
Go Go and the Silver Shoes by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker, was reviewed by Brona’s Book’s Reviews. Brona says that Go Go is a girl who dares to be different and is proud of it. She shrugs off the disdain of the snotty-nosed school bully and bravely defies her mother’s good advice. Go Go champions inclusiveness, belonging and sharing. Walker’s gorgeous, shiny illustrations add charm and whimsy to this story, which Brona says is destined to become one of her favourite picture books.
Brona also reviewed Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend. She calls it ‘Quite simply, a ripper of a story.’ Nevermoor is probably the most highly-linked children’s book to the AWW blog this year, and has featured regularly in round-ups, but it’s worth clicking this link to see Brona’s collation of the different cover editions published around the world.
Finally, Ashleigh Meikle @ The Book Muse reviewed Touch the Sun: The Freedom Finders Series (book #2) by Emily Conolan. Aimed at readers nine and above, Ashleigh says this book begins a conversation, and can be used as an educational tool, to teach students about refugees and human rights. With a ‘choose your own destiny’ format, the reader becomes the main character – Jamilah, a Somalian boy escaping Mogadishu for Australia. The format allows the reader to try again when confronted by a less than desirable outcome. There are fact sheets at the back relating to refugees, people smuggling, and the struggles and complexities faced by those who go through this process. An interactive experience, it evokes a range of emotions, and Ashleigh said the book kept her just as hooked and intrigued as if it had been presented in a novel format.
I’ve set myself a challenge to finish reading and reviewing a few children’s books on my ‘to be read’ pile this month. And to select a few others from the CBCA notable list in time for the next Children’s Round Up (due 22 May 2018). Please join me. You can sign up here for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge at any time.
In awe of words from an early age, reading, writing and banter have become an obsession of mine. As a mother of two (who are growing up faster than I’d like), I am passionate about instilling a long-lasting love of reading in children. I am excited about joining the AWW team and sharing my love of children’s literature with you.